Ian Kinsler's deal locks up infield gems

If you are a fan of the fine infield work of the Texas Rangers, then you can appreciate the fact that second baseman Ian Kinsler, shortstop Elvis Andrus and third baseman Adrian Beltre will be teammates for years to come.

"It's good to know that Ian is going to be here. I know for sure that A.B. is going to be here. That's what we want to be," Andrus said. "You want to be able to stay together. We have a winning group, and as a player that's what you're looking for."

The Rangers have Andrus under contract through 2014, Beltre through 2016 and now Kinsler through 2018 (including the option). Kinsler led major league second basemen last season in double plays (102) and his zone rating according to Stats, Inc., was the second best among second basemen at .850.

The zone rating is an estimate of a player's efficiency fielding the ball hit into his defensive zone.

"He probably doesn't get the credit he deserves," Beltre said, a three-time American League Gold Glove winner and the recipient of the 2011 Fielding Bible as the top defensive third baseman in baseball. "Playing against him I knew he was good, but I didn't know he was that good playing with him. He makes a lot of plays look so easy, and people probably don't realize that. I'm really surprised he doesn't get the recognition of how good he is defensively."

Kinsler doesn't have a Gold Glove, but he is also battling Boston's Dustin Pedroia and New York's Robinson Cano. However, the Rangers recognize Kinsler's value, the fans see the value on a daily basis and the Rangers pitchers may be the most appreciative of all with that infield trip behind them.